A new report out of Japan claims Cupertino and Foxconn are working together to buy a stake in Sharp‘s LCD division. If true, it would give Apple larger ownership of a business it frequently uses for its iPads and iPhones.
According to Nikkei, Foxconn first proposed a deal to the struggling Japanese company last summer. If accepted, the Chinese manufacturer would get a majority stake in Sharp LCD. Apple is also allegedly set to make another investment as part of the agreement.
Apple has already invested in Sharp LCD, which provides display panels for its iPhones. Acquiring a larger stake in the company could ensure that Cupertino’s supply chain won’t suffer even if Sharp runs into trouble with its other businesses. It would also give Apple even greater control over display production for its future devices.
The deal would essentially keep Sharp’s operation intact, and help the company avoid shedding 4,000 Japanese jobs despite recent financial issues. The LCD-maker recently announced a ¥13.7 billion (roughly $115 million) operating loss.